Judge: NJ Transit must appear before planning board

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A Superior Court judge has denied New Jersey Transit's motion for reconsideration in regards to the substation project. (MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE OCEAN STAR)

BAY HEAD — Superior Court Judge Mark Troncone has denied New Jersey Transit’s motion for reconsideration.

During the hearing July 16, Judge Troncone continued to uphold the borough’s show cause order, halting work on the construction of the Bay Head Yard Substation Repair project, which abuts Twilight Lake, until NJ Transit appears before the planning board for a courtesy review.

“At the hearing, the judge declined to grant NJ Transit’s motion for reconsideration,” Robin La Bue, of the firm Rothstein, Mandell, Strohm, Halm & Cipriani, told The Ocean Star.

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“NJ Transit is still required to submit an application under NJSA 40:55D-31 for review by the borough planning board, and the plaintiffs [have] to file with the Appellate Division regarding the claims concerning the validity of the DEP Permits.

“NJ Transit has a permit for the new substation approved by the NJDEP in 2016. The plaintiffs are challenging the validity of the CAFRA Individual Permit on the basis that proper notice was not provided for the improvements that are part of the entire project. 

“Because the borough is alleging the permit is invalid, Judge Troncone is requiring plaintiffs to first make an application to the Appellate Division challenging the validity of the permit granted by the NJDEP.”

Representatives for NJ Transit did not respond to The Ocean Star’s request for comment on Judge Troncone’s decision. 

The project is a $24 million job funded by the federal government that will replace two existing, outdated substations that were submerged in 18 inches to 48 inches of saltwater and badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

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